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Le Commandant Charcot, a technological wonder capable of sailing in the most extreme environments, is opening up new horizons in unrivalled comfort and invites you to explore the Saint Lawrence. This river is not accessible to traditional ships in winter, so this exclusive and all-new PONANT journey lifts the veil on unique great open spaces, where the waters, once turbulent, freeze into ice, and where the forests are dressed in an immaculate white coat.
A journey suspended in time, where lives blend with the natural elements and where the wild beauty of nature is revealed in its full splendor.

Inclusions
  • 12 nights cruise aboard the luxury icebreaker Le Commandant Charcot (PONANT)
  • Domestic air from Saint Pierre & Miquelon to Montreal
  • All onboard meals—breakfast, lunch, dinner, and complimentary 24-hour room service
  • The Open Bar*: a wide selection of drinks (mineral water, soft drinks, wine, beer, Charles Heidsieck champagne, spirits, coffee, tea) is served on request and at any time of the day
  • Free Wi-Fi internet access 24 hours a day
  • Included shore excursions as stated in the itinerary
  • Transfer from pier to airport
  • Featuring guest Ian Dawson, British Photo Ambassador
January 29, 2025 Cruise Only
Prestige Balcony $24,239
Deluxe Balcony $25,759
Taxes & Fees Included
Rates in USD. Per person based on double occupancy.
No Single Supplement

*Certain premium alcoholic beverages on the menu are not included in the Open Bar

WordPress Tables Plugin

  • Take a trip through the heart of nature as you explore the St. Lawrence in winter – a PONANT exclusive that is only possible on board Le Commandant Charcot – and enjoy a warm welcome from the people of Canada.
  • With featured guest Ian Dawson, British Photo Ambassador
  • The eye and the advice of our photo ambassador, a privileged opportunity to immortalise your trip with, in the programme: workshops, conferences and personalized advice to improve your photographic skills.
  • Outings and shore visits with a team of naturalist-guides.
  • Visit traditional villages and get to meet indigenous Innu and Micmac communities.
  • The possibility of admiring the unique colours of the Northern Lights rippling across the sky.
    Activities* during the unique winter season: kayaking, ice fishing and tasting raw rockfish, dog sledding, tastings of local produce, and optional activities such as ice climbing, canoeing on ice and skijoring.
  • In Quebec, visit the world’s largest winter carnival, where ice decorations and sculptures and lights form a magical spectacle.
  • Make the most of Quebecois hospitality and conviviality.
  • Unforgettable overnight stays to take the time to contemplate the spectacle on offer.
  • Landscapes: great open spaces, fjords, immaculate boreal forests, sea ice, snow-covered valleys.*Activities subject to weather conditions, to be pre-booked before the cruise. More information available soon.

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JANUARY 29-30, 2025 – QUEBEC

At the confluence of the Saint Charles River and the Saint Lawrence estuary, in the South-East of Canada, the capital of the Beautiful Province puts on its best finery in the winter season. During its long winter months, the historic streets of the city – whose name means “where the river narrows” in the Mi’kmaq language – are decked out in a cloak of snow. Let yourself be swept away by the unique atmosphere of the old town, including in the Petit Champlain district, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, where the aromas of spices and hot chocolate emanating from the surrounding cafés will warm up hearts and souls alike. An oasis in the heart of urban life, the Plains of Abraham will provide you with the opportunity to try out the most popular winter activities, like cross-country skiing or ice skating, while making the most of sumptuous panoramas over the city that hosts the world’s largest winter carnival every year.

Included Excursions:
UNESCO DISCOVERY & MONTMORENCY FALLS
Quebec, the most French city outside France, is a concentration of stunning sites. Between the Old Town and the shores of the St Laurent River, discover the historic monuments and natural wonders – including the incredible Montmorency Falls – that give it its reputation.
The first stop is the Dufferin Terrace. Located almost 200 feet above the water, it was at this location that Samuel de Champlain built his fort in 1620. From here you will have a spectacular view of the St. Lawrence River, the Île d’Orléans and the Laurentian Mountains. You will also be able to admire Quebec’s most celebrated landmark, the Château Frontenac, which is only a few steps away. You will then have 35 minutes to visit the surroundings on your own.
Next, discover the Place Royale. Characterised by typical 17th- and 18th-century stone architecture, this market square is the heart of the Lower Town and is the site of Champlain’s first settlement. It is also the home of North America’s oldest Catholic church, Notre-Dame-des-Victoires.
Your next stop is the National Battlefields Park, also known as the Plains of Abraham. A magnificent 250-plus-acre park with hills, gardens, monuments, and artillery artifacts, this is the site where the French surrendered to the British in 1759.
Your itinerary will then take you along the Grande Allée – the Champs-Élysées of Quebec-, edged with pretty shops, cafe terraces and stores, stretching to the Parliament Building (Hôtel du Parlement), an impressive Second Empire-style building overlooking the city.
Finally, a few minutes from the fortified town of Old Quebec, the beautiful pastoral landscapes of the Quebec countryside await. One of the most striking sites among them will reveal itself in a roar of water and stone: Montmorency Falls Witness the power of nature here, where the falls gush out of the cliffs to meet the St. Lawrence River, and provide views that will take your breath away.
Note: We recommend you wear warm and comfortable winter shoes and clothing. This excursion is accessible for folding wheelchairs and for persons able to board the bus on their own.

ESCAPADE IN OLD QUEBEC
Dive into Quebec’s history by strolling the cobbled streets of the Old Town. Founded by the French explorer Champlain at the beginning of the 17th century and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it is the only fortified city in North America to still have its ramparts.
First of all, you will go to the Place Royale. The stone buildings surrounding this historic square were once the homes of wealthy merchants. Built and rebuilt several times, the square remains the heart of the Lower Town as well as the home of Notre-Dame-des-Victoires, North America’s oldest stone church.
At the corner of the square, discover the charming pedestrian district of Petit-Champlain. Scattered along its narrow cobblestone streets are an array of quaint boutiques, speciality shops and outdoor cafés with strolling musicians and street performers.
You will then board the funicular that connects the Lower Town to the Upper Town. Perched on a hill overlooking the St. Lawrence River, Château Frontenac is Quebec’s best-known monument. It was here that Franklin D. Roosevelt, Winston Churchill and William Mackenzie King met to discuss the Allied strategy during the Second World War. Now a luxury hotel, this château inspired by the French Renaissance and the châteaux of the Loire Valley is designated a National Historic Site of Canada. You will be able to make the most of the site and enjoy a cup of tea with delectable pastries.
Adjoining the château, the Dufferin Terrace forms a belvedere overlooking the waterway. Enjoy the spectacular views over the St. Lawrence River, the town of Lévis on the opposite bank, the Ile d’Orléans and the Laurentian Mountains. You will then explore the fortress district passing Place d’Armes, the Quebec Seminary, the Ursuline Convent, Place de l’Hôtel de Ville, and the Artists Alley.
Note: We recommend you wear comfortable clothing and shoes.
Optional Excursion:
PONANT SIGNATURE: ICE CANOEING ON THE ST. LAWRENCE RIVER (Price TBA)
Set off to discover the frozen landscapes of the St. Lawrence River during an exclusive canoeing adventure on the ice-covered river. In the middle of an immaculate decor, amidst sleeping nature, PONANT invites you to take part in a unique activity mixing sporting challenge, local traditions and breathtaking views.

JANUARY 31 – FEBRUARY 1, 2025 – LA BAIE (SAGUENAY)
During the long winter months, in the majestic Saguenay Valley, the borough of La Baie is cloaked in an aura of mystery. Here, the striking contrasts of its pristine lands, where nature displays its full splendour, invite you to experience a unique moment alongside the Saguenayens, a people amongst the most welcoming and hospitable in the world. During a snowshoe walk or a dog sled outing, as a passenger or a musher, take the time to observe immaculate nature bordered by a thick ice floe, where Le Commandant Charcot will remain for several days, and you will be able to disembark. Each winter, hundreds of colourful huts set up on these frozen waters to practice traditional ice fishing. You will be initiated into these ancestral techniques and have the pleasure of tasting freshly caught rockfish.
Included Excursions:
DOGSLEDGE IN BOREAL FOREST
In the majestic Saguenay Valley, the borough of La Baie is cloaked in an aura of mystery during the long winter months. Take your place on a dogsled for an unforgettable panoramic ride through these lands, where nature displays its full splendour.
On the musher’s signal, the huskies all move as one, their paws energetically striking the snow. The sled slides across the powder snow, leaving a soft wake behind it. As you adventure deeper into the snow-capped landscapes of La Baie, an enchanting tranquillity will set in. The frozen trees seem to hail your passage, their branches laden with snow. The scenery transforms into a living canvas of sparkling white, punctuated with the deep green of the fir trees. Majestic mountains stand on the horizon, their impressive silhouette cut out against a pure blue sky.
As you move forwards, wrapped up in layers of warm clothing, the musher will tell you stories about the region, adding a cultural dimension to your adventure. Then, as this discovery draws to a close, as the dogs gently slow their pace, you will become aware that this ride constitutes, in fact, a total immersion in the raw beauty and tranquillity of the Quebec winter.
After a snack and a maple taffy demonstration, climb aboard a snowmobile and head back to the kennel for the end of this unforgettable experience.
Note: For this excursion, we recommend you wear waterproof and comfortable boots and warm winter clothing.
SNOWSHOE AT BEC-SCIE
Fall under the charm of breathtaking landscapes during a snowshoe walk along the paths of Bec-Scie, natural jewel of Saguenay.
Accompanied by your local guide, enjoy a snowshoe walk in the forest to breathe in fresh air and take in the scents of nature. You will pass by the Rivière-à-Mars, brimming with salmon as well as with spectacular scenery, then you will cross an impressive natural corridor between two rock faces.
Your guide, a First Nations specialist, will talk to you about the indigenous community’s way of life and their culture and connections to nature.
Note: We recommend you wear warm and comfortable clothing and walking shoes.
– ICE FISHING IN THE SAGUENAY FJORD
Discover one of the world’s biggest ice fishing villages and share a unique experience with enthusiasts of this well-established local tradition in the Saguenay Fjord.
In the company of your guide, walk to the ice fishing village on La Baie and discover the row of colourful cabins installed on the icy waters of the Saguenay. You will learn the ropes of ice fishing in one of these cabins, which are heated by wood. Next to the hole pierced in the ice, you will perhaps have the chance to catch one of the 60 species of fish found in this saltwater, such as smelt, rockfish, turbot, Greenland halibut or Arctic cod.
Note: We recommend you wear warm and comfortable clothing and walking shoes.
FEBRUARY 2, 2025 – SAILING SAGUENAY RIVER
In the heart of winter, the Saguenay River becomes an enchanting setting. Aboard Le Commandant Charcot, set sail on a captivating cruise. The once turbulent waters of the Saguenay are now calm and silent, covered in a thick layer of ice. The trees lining its shores are wrapped in a glistening coat of snow, forming a majestic alley. At twilight, when the sun is setting behind the mountains, pink and gold reflections light up the horizon, turning the landscape into a bewitching tableau.
FEBRUARY 3 – 4, 2025 – SEPT-ÎLES
On the edge of the Canadian landscape, between the icy waters of the Gulf of Saint Lawrence, Sept-Îles invites you on a unique journey. Surrounded by a captivating sea of ice and an immaculate boreal forest, the seven islands, eternal guardians of the coastline, seem to murmur timeless stories. In particular, you will have the privilege of meeting the Innu people, the indigenous civilisation of the Côte-Nord, during a unique moment when you will learn more about their ancestral customs and traditions. The area is famous for its winter festivities; like its emblematic Hivernants (hunters and trappers who would spend the winter), fall under the charm of its unique environment. During Nordic hikes on skis or snowshoes, you will be enchanted by its captivated landscapes.Included Excursions:
MEETING OF TWO NATIONS W/VISIT AT THE MUSEUM & OLD TRADING POST
Surrounded by sea and forest, the city of Sept-Îles has breathtaking views and a history forged over the centuries.
Dive into the history of this region north of the St. Lawrence River at the North Shore Regional Museum. The museum’s permanent exhibition “Land of Discovery: The Great Journey” invites visitors to explore 8,000 years of history. Whether you are interested in nature, industry or culture, the exhibition will help you discover the authentic character of the region and give you a glimpse into the courage, tenacity and pride of its inhabitants; in the Sept-Îles region, the presence of American Indian tribes goes back more than 7,000 years, whereas Europeans have known the site for almost 500 years. The museum also has two temporary exhibitions.
Note: This excursion could be modified depending on weather conditions.
FEBRUARY 5 – 6, 2025 – GASPÉ
In the glacial darkness of the Canadian winter, Gaspé stands proud like a preserved and authentic jewel at the edge of the dark waters of the Gulf of Saint Lawrence. Nature seems to be holding its breath. The captivating Mount Jacques-Cartier, the highest point of the Chic-Choc Mountains range and the South, is dressed with an immaculate coat of snow, while the frozen rivers slowly wind their way, fixing time in their icy embrace. During a snowshoe walk, fall in love with the captivating landscapes of the L’Anse-au-Griffon Valley, right in the heart of the Forillon National Park. Then, in Percé, opposite the famous eponymous Rock, dive into the natural beauty of the “magic forest”, where thousands of conifers decked out in an immaculate white cloak are like silent guardians watching over this isolated piece of land. You may also fall in love with this charming town, where the exciting history and the conviviality of the locals come together in a delightful blend.
Included Excursions:
SNOWSHOEING IN FORILLON PARK VALLEY
Forillon National Park is one of the Gaspé Peninsula’s best-kept secrets and stretches between Gaspé Bay and the Gulf of St. Lawrence. In winter, abundant snow, upon which few people walk, shapes new itineraries in the heart of a wild setting, a perfect painting to explore on snowshoes.
Forillon, which was declared a Canadian National Park to preserve the site’s beauty, has incredible views. Rocky capes, vertiginous cliffs, secret coves and pebble beaches all make up a wild coast, sculpted by the sea over 450 million years, while the inner valley shelters boreal forests and deciduous woodlands, privileged witnesses of the close connection that men have forged with their environment.
Near Anse-au-Griffon, in the company of a guide, you will set off to explore these rugged reliefs on snowshoes, along a wild trail called La Vallée.
Note: This snowshoe excursion is along a 4-kilometre (2.5-mile) path on sometimes uneven ground. We recommend you wear warm shoes, several layers of warm and comfortable clothing, gloves, a scarf and a woolly hat. 
DISCOVERING MI’KMAQ CULTURE
In 1534, Jacques Cartier berthed on the shores of the present-day Gaspé Peninsula, marking the beginning of western history in North America and the birth of Canada. In Gaspé, whose name means “land’s end” in the Mi’kmaq language, this history is inseparable from that of the indigenous community that you will discover on the Gespeg site.
Located east of Quebec, the Gaspé Peninsula has breathtaking landscapes. The Appalachian Mountains plunge into the Gulf of St. Lawrence here, creating kilometres of coastline that are perfect for fishing and, these days, swimming.
Near Gaspé, the largest city in the province, dive into the history of the region’s first inhabitants and discover Mi’kmaq culture, their relationship with the surrounding nature and the links they forged over the centuries with European fishermen. At the Mi’kmaq Interpretation Site of Gespeg, the traditions of this indigenous community are unveiled through various objects and tools of interpretation, which recount the history and day-to-day lives of the ancestors.
Note: This excursion involves walking 1 kilometre (0.6 miles) on flat ground. We recommend you wear warm and comfortable winter shoes and clothing.
FEBRUARY 7 – 8, 2025 – CAP-AUX-MEULES, MAGDALEN ISLANDS
Scattered through the Gulf of Saint Lawrence, the Magdalen Islands offer a variety of extraordinary landscapes, between captivating drifting ice floe, tall red sandstone cliffs, sandy beaches covered with an immaculate coat and snow-covered valleys. Here, winter really is a special season, a time of contrasts and mysteries. The icy winds intertwine with the softness of the salty air, and the colourful houses, dressed in their finest attire, stand bravely in this enchanting scenery. In these distant lands, you will be plunged into Acadian culture, you will discover ancestral traditions here and will have the chance to explore the unique landscapes on hikes or snowshoe walks along the icy shores.
Included Excursions:
HIKE ALONG THE FATIMA CLIFFS
Take a tour of Grindstone Island (Île du Cap-aux-Meules) and walk along the spectacular Fatima Cliffs, which are under attack from the sea.
From Cap-aux-Meules village, you will head for the north of the island. You will reach the village of Fatima, located along the coast and encircled by sheer red sandstone cliffs. You will stop at the Belle Anse Belevedere, which is one of the finest examples of rock walls sculpted by the sea. You will hike along the cliffs to the Anse aux Baleiniers and access the Dune du Nord with its 18-kilometre (11-mile) beach.
Next, the bus will take you the stunning Pointe du Cap Hérissé, then you will be able to admire the fishing port of Étang-du-Nord. Taking the road for Gros-Cap, you will pass by the Saint-Pierre de La Vernière Church. It is one of the largest wooden churches in North America and dates back to 1876.
Note: This excursion involves walking 5 kilometres (3.1 miles). We recommend you wear walking shoes and warm and comfortable winter clothing.
E-BIKE ADVENTURE
You will be captivated by the enchanting landscapes of the Magdalen Islands during this unforgettable electric fat bike escapade.
Under a spellbinding boreal sky, Grindstone Island (Île du Cap-aux-Meules) and, more generally, the Magdalen Islands will reveal themselves like a living painting, a kaleidoscope of colours and contrasts wearing a winter coat. You will explore these coastal paths on an electric bike, discovering the region’s enchanting landscapes. Here, the ochre cliffs contrast with the fresh snow, while the colourful houses emerge like jewels from the immaculate landscape. Each bend unveils a new perspective and, in this winter tranquillity, you will discover the timeless magic of the Magdalen Islands, an adventure that will nourish the soul and awaken the spirit.
Note: This excursion involves walking on icy and snow-covered uneven ground. We recommend that you wear warm winter clothing and warm and comfortable shoes. A specific itinerary may be followed, depending on weather conditions. The duration of the excursion may vary slightly depending on the pace of the participants.
CULINARY HERITAGE OF THE MAGDALEN ISLANDS
Renowned for its stunning scenery and rich cultural history, the Magdalen Islands archipelago can also claim a fine culinary heritage, constantly renewed by passionate artisans, like the dairy, smokehouse and the brewery that await you here.
First stop: the Pied-de-Vent dairy, a delicious example of Madelinot perseverance and craftmanship. In just a few years, the artisans working here have successfully developed cheeses that are popular all over the country, such as the tasty Pied-de-Vent cheese and Tomme des Demoiselles. Their secret is their great love for their terroir combined with a savvy blend of tradition and modernity, as you will discover during your visit of the farm, followed by a tasting.
Then, after coming along the lovely Chemin de la Pointe Basse, scattered here and there with typical painted houses and farms – with small closed porches, consoles and corbels, verandas but also painted or stained cedar shingles which are reminiscent of the Acadian and French origins of their first inhabitants -, you will discover the Fumoir d’Antan. Now an eco-museum dedicated to herring smoking, this typical smokehouse brings to life this last vestiges of what was a very important industry in the past. It has been used for three generations to smoke herring, mackerel, salmon and scallops; you will find out all about its history before tasting some specialities.
Then go along the northern coast of the island and the aptly named Cap-Hérissé, which is home to spectacular sheer and rugged cliffs that have been sculpted by the sea, before your final port of call: the À l’abri de la Tempête brewery. Here, local ingredients reign supreme. The brewers started using locally malted barley, then moved on to harvesting and using fresh flowers, marine algae and herbs from the area, to brew unique full-flavoured beers that you will have the pleasure of tasting.
Note: There are no difficulties involved with this excursion. Participants must have a minimum age of 18 to take part in this visit.
FEBRUARY 9, 2025 – AT SEA
FEBRUARY 10, 2025 – SAINT PIERRE ISLAND, SAINT PIERRE AND MIQUELON
Off the Canadian coast, discover Saint Pierre Island, one of the two main islands of the Saint Pierre and Miquelon archipelago, the only French territory in North America. Endowed with a natural harbour, the island, whose name is a reference to the patron saint of fishermen, developed around the fishing industry and still has many traces of its past today. Whale hunting, cod fishing, alcohol smuggling during the Prohibition: all of these memories are still very much alive in the capital, Saint-Pierre.

Shore Excursions Group

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Why choose PONANT?

An attentive crew, expertise, fine dining and more. Within a fully 5 star setting, we take you to discover exceptional destinations while offering you a travel experience that is both authentic and high end.

  • Travelling the French way
    PONANT is an exponent for the French way of life across every sea on the globe. On board, this is translated through exceptional services, a multilingual crew and bringing French know-how to the fore.
  • Exceptional destinations
    From secluded ports to secret seas, from forgotten beaches to remote lands, our experts choose itineraries that take you away from major tourist routes so you can enjoy unique cruises and shorelines that few have seen before.
  • Ships on a human scale
    Thanks to our small capacity ships, we can dock in private ports and offer stopovers in preserved locations. On board, the limited number of passengers means that everybody can enjoy special moments and feel as though they are on a private yacht.
  • Our commitments
    PONANT aims at becoming a world reference in the field of sustainable development in the cruising industry. The environment and ethics are among our main concerns, both in the regions we visit and in our relationships within the company and with our partners.

 

Terms & Conditions

All rates are per person, based on double occupancy in Canadian dollars (unless otherwise stated) New bookings only. Space and price may be limited and subject to availability at the time of booking.  Errors or omissions may occur on the above information with no guarantee of being honoured. Terms and conditions apply. Tax is not included in the above base fare. Above tax amount includes non-refundable $30 per adult Booking Management Fee. $50 per adult cancellation fee. Not included in the above rates: Xpresspost fee, recommended medical, cancellation or baggage insurance. Child rate is applicable when travelling with 2 paying adults sharing 1 hotel room, using the existing bedding. Price Match Policy: Travel Best Bets makes every effort to remain competitive by offering our ‘Match or Beat Any Price’ offer however due to certain restrictions  there will be some product we cannot match or beat. Please note the star ratings found on www.travelbestbets.com are determined by Travel Best Bets based on a number of factors and may not match the star rating found in the Tour Operator’s brochure. Please view our star ratings by clicking here. Due to an increasing volume of disputed bookings, we will only accept payment for air only travel to India, the Philippines and the continent of Africa through the following means: book and pay cash in person or by direct deposit into our business account – once the transaction is verified and a copy of the receipt emailed or faxed to our office, we will confirm the booking. Please contact us for details on how to book using this method. Please contact [email protected] for photo credit information. BPCPA #3287